Cover photo for Elwyn D. Engelter's Obituary
Elwyn D. Engelter Profile Photo

Elwyn D. Engelter

Elwyn passed away Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at his home in Allegan.

He was born June 7, 1940 in Charlotte, the son of Louis and Beulah (Mason) Engelter. Elwyn was a graduate of Western Michigan University. He worked as an aerospace engineer at National Water Lift, Parker and retired from Eaton in 2007. He owned and operated Recreation Country a lawn and garden business.

Elwyn liked to tinker and could fix anything. He was a licensed pilot and enjoyed flying. He loved riding motorcycles, collecting antique bikes and traveling. He was the president of the Wolverine Chapter of Antique Motorcycles Association. Elwyn was a volunteer at the Gilmore Car Museum and was an instrumental part of the opening of their motorcycle gallery. He also volunteered with garage works where he mentored and taught motorcycle restoration to youth. Elwyn was active in the Jaycees and was a past president at the state level.

On August 23, 1997 he married Barbara Bradfield who survives.

Also surviving are his children, Robert (Lisa) Engelter of Plainwell, Andrea (Douglas Horton) Engelter of Plainwell and Lincoln Engelter of California; step-daughter, Lori (Rob) East of Galesburg; 9 grandchildren; 1 great-grandson; brother, Knowle (Pat) Engelter of Parma along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Shirleyann Shaw and Wendell Engelter.

According to his wishes cremation has taken place.

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


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Condolence Messages

Kathy Plotts

October 29, 2020 at 5:57 pm


So sorry for your loss.


Ronda Welch

October 29, 2020 at 6:07 pm

So sorry for your loss. Will be praying for you and your family.


Patricia Shattuck

October 29, 2020 at 7:12 pm

So sorry for your loss sending healing thoughts and prayers to help you threw your loss ,God bless you all


Susan Zelmanski

October 29, 2020 at 7:32 pm

So so sorry Engelter family. El was one of the smartest, funniest people I’d ever met. And he was very patient with me as The Lighthouse’s worst waitress ever. Sending strength!


Bryon & Kandy Campbell

October 29, 2020 at 9:53 pm

So sorry Rob and Lisa, prayer to you and your family.


Joe Stufflebeam

October 29, 2020 at 10:58 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Jayne Stamurs

October 29, 2020 at 11:32 pm

So sorry for your loss Andrea! May God comfort you during this difficult time! Hugs my friend!


Terri Enos

October 30, 2020 at 1:11 am

Hugs and prayers sweetie. Sending love to all.


Larry and Cindy Seedorff

October 30, 2020 at 7:33 am

Sorry to hear about El, we’re thinking about you.


Bill Langs

October 30, 2020 at 10:10 am

Sorry for your loss Barb I have many good memories of El


Vicki Hunter

October 30, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Barb, So sorry for your loss. RIP Elwyn.


Dave Foerster and Sheila Birdsall

October 30, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Barb and Family….We are smitten by the news. We knew him, we loved him. We love you too! Thinking of him riding an amazing new motorcycle as he rolls to his next adventure. Sending you warm loving memories to comfort you all!


Wendy Katje

October 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm

I love you Elwyn! Andie, Rob, Lincoln and Barb…I’m sending so much love and light as you journey on without him.


Bob & Judi DeZurik

October 30, 2020 at 4:06 pm

So sorry for your loss. We have wonderful memories of times spent with your father. May comfort and peace surround your family.


Judy Pierson

October 30, 2020 at 7:18 pm

No words can describe how sorry I am for your loss.

Someone so special can never be forgotten.



Sherry Dennis

October 30, 2020 at 7:44 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I have so many memories of working together with almost everyone in your family at the Lighthouse. The fun silly times when your Dad would come in there and I swear he knew everyone in the whole place. He was one of the intelligent people I ever knew, plus very wise, and caring, and a great friend ! He was such a terrific husband, and father and grandfather. He will be missed. May memories give you comfort in days to come, and angels surround you ! Love & light Sherry


Terri Hoare

October 30, 2020 at 9:22 pm

Barb and family: we are very sorry to hear of El’s passing. We enjoyed working together with you both at Parker. You all are in our thoughts.

Terri and Rob Hoare


Sandie Bull

November 1, 2020 at 7:25 am

Barb and family. I am so sorry for your loss. We have had many good times and great memories with El over the years. I am so happy he was part of our lives. He was always there for a hug, a helping hand or a pat on the back whenever a person needed it. We will miss him, his wisdom, his humor, his friendship. He is in our hearts forever. Hugs.


Paulette Hilton

November 1, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Can not say enough about this wonderful man, his spirit, passion, and zest for life. He enjoyed his family and friends and those of us, who have been so fortunate to share moments with him have been left blessed with the opportunity to enjoy him. Thank you El, as you will be missed until those days that we will meet with up with you once again. Buz Klosterman and Paulette Hilton.


Mary Van Tassel

November 1, 2020 at 3:28 pm

The Gilmore Car Museum loses a great volunteer and he will be truly missed.

Mary and Jerry Van Tassel send their healing thoughts to you Barb.


Kimberly English

November 1, 2020 at 6:15 pm

I’m so sorry for the family’s loss. Sending positive, healing thoughts to the family. Andie, please don’t hesitate to call if there’s anything you need, or anything that I can help you with.

Much love,

Kimberly (Thomas) English


Tom Stegink

November 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm

El took me in as a new engineer at NWL Control Systems back in the 80s and we became good friends.

He not only was technically savvy but he had a lot of useful general knowledge that he shared willingly. We shared a love of airplanes, and machines in general.

And he had a great sense of humor. 🙂 At noon time he used to extend his hand and say “Do you want to go out to lunch, little Tommy?” When he turned fifty years old, his birthday invitation said “I hope I never get this old again!” I still use that one myself every few years. 🙂

I didn’t see him after that party, but my memories remain warm.


Patricia Reed

November 3, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Our hearts are saddened to learn of your loss. Our warmest condolences to you and your family.

Pat Reed

Hillary and Tai

Colin and Cassie


Steve McDaniel

November 8, 2020 at 7:05 pm

I am saddened to hear of the loss of your husband, father and friend of so many. I met El just a short while ago and was amazed at the depth of his knowledge and openness to share that. I wish that we had met sooner, but I’m thankful that I did meet him and spent even just a short time getting hear his story. Our thoughts are with your family and hope that the realization of all the lives he touched leaves you with happy thoughts.


Stephanie Groshko Grathwol

November 17, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Barb, my deepest condolences to you and the Family. El touched many many people with his intellect, his wit, and his generosity. May he be remembered for decades to come. I am making a donation to The Gilmore Car Museum in his name, with the specific request that they use it for the motorcycles that Elwyn loved so much. You take care now, and let’s hope that future COVID-19 vaccines allow us to gather asap in 2021 for our Gals Lunches and Hugs.


Al McCarty

December 26, 2020 at 9:09 pm

So sorry to hear I knew El from Gilmore Garage Woks the last 4 yrs, a great guy and mentor to the kids a great friend, taught me a lot, and my grandson Jackson


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